22 February 2006

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Business Today

Fimbank’s proposes scrap dividend of US$1.50

Fimbank’s Board of Directors are proposing that at the AGM, the shareholders approve a one for 5 bonus shares issues and a scrap dividend to those shareholders on the register at the close of trading at the end of this month.
The Board of Directors will recommend that the scrap dividend will be paid either in cash or by the issued new shares. The price set is US$1.14 per ordinary share whilst the price for calculating the scrap dividend will be established at US$1.50.
In reviewing the performance of the Fimbank Group one finds that the after tax profit is US$2.7million vs. US$1.54 million in 2004.
The published results also show that the Bank is diversifying its geographical presence and product offering leaving. Pre-Tax profit reached US$3.25 million a remarkable increase from 2004 when it registered a figure of US$1.42 million.
On the other hand the Group registered a decrease in net interest income but an increase in Group Net Trading income. The Group’s Net Operating income grew by a healthy increase of 25% to reach US$15.63 million. The Global Trade Finance associate undertaking made a positive contribution to the Group’s result as reflected by US$0.89 million in share of profits
The Group has continued to strengthen its position by a 37% increase in Total Assets.
The Bank’s strategy is registering positive results. The Group has registered an increase in its earnings per share to reach US$3.81c from US$2.34 as diluted or at US$4.06c at the basic EPS rate.
Fimbank plc formerly known as the First International Merchant Bank plc is not a ‘known bank’ to Maltese retailers as one does not find a network of bank branches. However, the activity it undertakes within a niche market has proved that is a specialist in its field and gaining from its expanded activities. With 59% of its equity owned by 4 organisations and the denomination of the share capital in US$ makes these shares an attraction for investors that are ravenous to extend their portfolio in financial services. The market now awaits the announcement of results of another listed Bank: Lombard plc at the end of this month.

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